Bypass Paywalls is a popular extension for Firefox and Chrome that does what the name implies: allows your browser to manipulate its cookies so that websites with "soft paywalls" that allow a small number of free articles can't accurately determine if you've already exceeded your limit.
Bypass Paywalls is a free software project maintained by Iamadamdev and hosted on Github.
On November 17, Iamadamdev updated the project's Readme file to announce that Mozilla had removed the extension from its Add-Ons Store; according to Iamadamdev, the add-on was removed for violating Mozilla's terms-of-service; but they dispute that the project violates those terms.
The terms are spread across two pages and the relevant passage appears to be "Mozilla reserves the right ...[to] remove [an add-on that] our reasonable opinion, violates this Agreement or the law, any applicable Mozilla policy, or is in any way harmful or objectionable to End-Users".
I do not believe that Bypass Paywalls violates any law; and it's hard to see how it would be harmful or objectionable to the users who run it. The "applicable Mozilla policy" seems a little circular, but maybe that's the justification?
Release and Beta versions of Firefox do not allow unsigned extensions to be installed, so the vast majority of Firefox users will not be able to use Bypass Paywalls unless it is restored to the Add-Ons store.
The Mozilla Add-Ons Store still lists two not-very-ambitious paywall circumvention tools; Chrome's add-on store still includes Bypass Paywalls.
The author of Bypass Paywalls is urging users to contact Mozilla and ask them to reconsider their decision to remove the add-on.
After Deadspin's Laura Wagner published an incredible, brave, detailed look at how her new private equity masters -- Jim Spanfeller/Great Hill Partners -- were running Gawker now that they'd acquired it from Univision, the company (now called "G/O Media") struck back.
The Wall Street Journal investigates major corporations' ad buyers' practice of blacklisting of ads on news stories that deal with the world's most urgent issues, including any news story that contains the word "Trump" or "racism" or "gun" or "Brexit" or "suicide" (so much for reporting on the opioid epidemic).
For more than a decade, consumer rights groups (including EFF) worked with technologists and companies to try to standardize Do Not Track, a flag that browsers could send to online companies signaling that their users did not want their browsing activity tracked. Despite long hours and backing from the FTC, foot-dragging from the browser vendors […]
The field of data analytics is growing as fast as the internet itself. Self-driving cars, airline pricing, and huge marketing campaigns are all driven by the insights that data scientists can distill out of vast sums of information. Even with the help of powerful software like Python, it’s a highly skilled position. But those skills […]
If you’re marketing on the web, your Google-fu needs to be strong – and up to date. Without a firm grasp on what drives traffic, you’ll never be able to take the wheel. That’s why even if you know where to put your keywords, a little extra effort goes a long way on any marketer’s […]
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]